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Jonny Sexton's great pass sets up Brian O'Driscoll try vs Cardiff Blues

Ah lads do we have to go there so early - NH vs SH? God knows we've been over that enough times....

Yes its true there's lots more of that sort of play in the SH, and in France - e.g. the Stade tries in the recent RD clip was full of great offloading etc...but, and here's the difference this time:

I distinctly get the impression that Leinster weren't even pushing it really hard in this match. there were many occasions where they could have gone for risky and high octane offloads, but they seemed to be able to trust themselves to just go to ground, make a few yards, recycle...and score anyway. Great balance between continuity and more traditional forward play. Less risky, less chance of an intercept.

And also a v solid defense. This lower risk and good defence approach is backed up by the fact that Cardiff only managed to score 3 points. In the whole match.

In this context, stats on the scoreline gaps between winners and losers in NH and also SH games in the top tier would be a point......(I dont believe I've just added to the NH SH debate!)

Leinster's game is fairly complete at the mo - each area works well for them (a bit like Toulouse a few years back)

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Front rowers Ben Daley and Dan Palmer square off in Brisbane

"will that go down on his stats?" classic

Headlines U would not have expected in the past:

"Scrum half stops prop fight/ With his physicality."

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Edinburgh Rugby upset Toulouse in Heinenken Cup Quarter Final

nice to see the small guys come through in this one.

And very nice to see an actual crown at Murrayfield. usually, when there's a club match on there its like a neutron bomb has gone off.

What odds was there on Edinburgh vs Ulster for the semis?!?

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Aviva Premiership Highlights Wrap-Up for Round 19

@cmon84: it was a verrry boring round up thou. sheesh. RD didnt make it, no fault there, but man on man it was as sleeper.........

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Manu Tuilagi's huge hit on quick hands Dan Bowden

i second that on the interview - insightful - and yes, perfect rugby moment - the tackle and the pass.

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Best Tries of the Top 14 - Round 21

Stade looking good alright - great hands. Baldy contemponi also did v well (superb hands for the last try, #1 there)

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Andy Goode red carded for high hit against former team Leicester Tigers

Pretzel - how blatant do u want a charge to be for a straight red? His complete inaccuracy and bad timing is his own business/inability.

Outside of his gushing sentimental fan base, he's always been viewed as something of a loose cannon, to be fair and polite.

I remember so many straight arms, mis-timed tackles, and bizarre decisions by him....he's like a throwback to characters doing stuff off the cuff. Which, in some ways, is fine. Rugby needs personality.

but this tackle? I laughed and grimmiced in equal measure. Esp when it came from Goode.

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Calum Clark cited for bending Rob Hawkins' arm backwards

32 weeks so, is it?

Me, I blame Stephen Ferris. He's the girl in the short skirt in this situation...

come on folks - Ferris to blame for begin gouged and bitten? Nothing wrong with his eye?!? FFS!

Maybe, just maybe, he's been playing like a complete animal (in a good way) when he's been fit and players are trying to take him out?

32 weeks for Clark does seem v weak. I'd also be interested in hearing a follow up on the N'thhampton query.

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Danny Cipriani's great try and celebration against the Western Force

i'm not normally on prozac -and I'm not now, I'm speaking/typing metaphorically - but I love this. All of it. the video and the comments. They all seem to make sense.

The try - great team play. I mean, really good hands and dummy/steps etc. That gerrard guy, and the hot potato move - top quality.

I was expecting the dance to be a little more elaborate? Considering the comment(s)? (i _have_those fuckers *ahem* who ask questions while they supposedly just speak sentences, don't you?)

But yea, enjoyed reading the comments thus far - that was not a conversation closer -

but on them, while I'm here.

i think that's ok now in rugby @pretzel
good points on the move in general, on moves (yes, that's stylised dancing grandpa) and as usual all a bit OTT on the rugby-has-gone-soft-and-been-destroyed-by-not-being-the-sport-it-was-when-hardly-anyone-watched-it-and-they-were-all-5ft7....

I'll stop now.

4 Years, 9 Months ago

Wales win Grand Slam after tense battle with France in Cardiff

Well done Wales - deserved the championship.

Not sure a Grand Slam was deserved: France weren't bothered after the draw and loss so it was a damp squib at the end.

Ireland are a bit of a conundrum at the mo. Missing two captains and a scrum half is never easy, but Kidney's had to absolutely have his arm twisted to bring new ppl in.

Specifically on the scrum: Ross seems to have been injured from earlier in the match so was struggling for a while anyway. But he has shown that he can lock down a scrum for Irl and Leinster, so once he was injured and then off Irl was screwed. Don't think O Connell makes much of a difference in the scrum (in fact I've seen him yellow carded, and Dougie feckin howlet brought into the scrum, against Northampton (!), on the five mt line, against the head...and Munster won that scrum!).

The issue is tighthead plain and simple. Ireland have no plan B for tighthead. And our Schools game is not producing them , because they don't allow youths to push back more than 1 mt in a scrum. That's the core problem - right there. The second core problem is the (understandable) policy of prioritizing Irish team players over players playing abroad. (A bit like NZ not even considering players who play in Europe. even if they are stuck). Mike Ross himself could not get a game for Ireland when he played for Quins in the Eng Prem. While I'm more or less in favour of prioritizing Irish team players, in that situation, we needed to draft him in (about 2) years earlier. (when majority of Irish players played in Eng Prem, years ago, we were AWFUL, so it makes sense, most of the time, to focus on making Irish club teams strong. But on occasion, it is a rule that needs to be broken.)

Good news of Strauss - didn't know that. English team was well pepperred with the colours of the globe eh? Italian, South African, German, south sea islands....and the biggest player base in the world?

Eng will always be there or there abouts with that range.

4 Years, 10 Months ago